FACEBOOK WRITINGS ON EDUCATION, 2016.
You must NEVER EVER create conditions for people to fail, specially for the best of people. You must only create conditions for SUCCESS. Otherwise, stand aside. This is ABSOLUTELY a MUST in the area of education.
Even creating conditions in which errors may occur is perfectly sensible; errors may lead to great SUCCESSES. What is totally insensible is to create conditions where errors are the direct path to failure.
Most education nowadays is of the second kind. A striking example is the “solemnity of plagiarism”. As if teaching a CODE were teaching/reaching a person.
Education is wholly based on either: a) sacrifice, or b) happiness (“eudamonia”). It cannot have it both ways.
Now, some think that learning sacrifice LEADS to happiness. We strongly think those who believe this are quite confused. We can show why. We can’t do it here, though!
In contrast, we believe these two educational roads never ever touch, and that road b) is rarely taken —hardly known— because road a) has great powers on its side. These powers are in high positions (political and entrepreneurial), and perhaps are even otherworldly!
In other words, we know so little of happiness (“eudaimonia”), it has become unrecognizable in our lives and in our education.
Nonetheless, everyone believes, almost blindly, that they ARE happy: preferably so, if less questioned about what their happiness means! Here, the education on happiness, road b), comes to an end.
(Note: “eudaimonia” is the word Aristotle uses for what we kind of understand as “happiness”)
Industrialized education does not teach to love learning and its many gentle, even fun, shared surprises.
Rather, industrialized learning —the learning of our time, and especially of our ginormous educational facilities– teaches the repetitive process of information sharing towards a marketable degree. It hardly teaches one to laugh. It is the most serious of the serious. It proudly speaks of “industry standards”.
And though, super serious, industrialized learning is intent on the unimportant: on the ritual of attendance, on the ritual of the exam, on the ritual of the levels and prerequisites, on the ritual of extremely minute objectives and goals, on the ritual of the attack on plagiarism, on the ritual of certification. Its seriousness is one based on mere formality. This kind of seriousness is empty.
Industrialized education sacrifices the potential inherent in our human encounters, those infrequent encounters sought by those of us who truly wish to learn to learn. This is unforgivable. For these encounters are far and between, these encounters are face to face —-many a time—- on a one-on-one basis. They are so rare, people generally cannot understand what is going on when they do happen. They are surprised by actually seeing and feeling for themselves the real nature of learning. They even get quite angry.
Moreover, industrialized education requires a weird notion of “teamwork”, one which means that being part of the “team” means adjusting to the unquestioned demands of these processes themselves! I mean, “don’t rock the boat, otherwise, it might sink!” This is why a proper metaphor for industrialized education is certainly the Titanic; the most industrial of things ever. They never thought they would sink. (more…)